Viorel Bologan: one of the more-than-ten players

by ChessBase
1/9/2008 – "There are many more than ten people who know how to play chess!" wrote the Moldovan grandmaster in his recent best games collection. He proved that he is one of them by winning Dortmund 2003 by a full point, ahead of Anand, Kramnik and Leko. On tonight Dennis Monokroussos will be looking at one of Bologan's spectacular victories. See you there.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Most of us are very familiar with the usual suspects in today's super-tournaments; players like Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Leko, Svidler, Morozevich, Ivanchuk and so on are household names – at least when the household includes the sorts of people who read this website. But there are a host of other great players, players whose ratings reside just a notch or two below that of the Linares crowd. Given half a chance, they are capable of the highest results as well.

For instance, there was Khalifman's victory in the 1999 FIDE world championship and Kasimdzhanov's triumph in the 2004 edition of the same competition. Examples can be multiplied, but even the foregoing is enough to confirm something Moldovan grandmaster Viorel Bologan has written in his recent best games collection: "There are many more than ten people who know how to play chess!"

Moldovan GM Viorel (Victor) Bologan

As you may already suspect from the title of the post, Bologan considers himself one of the more-than-ten, and he can make an excellent case for the claim. There have been many notable successes in his career, but the greatest achievements to date came in 2003. At the start of the year he won the incredibly strong Aeroflot Open, which qualified him to play in the Dortmund super-tournament later that year. Although his rivals included Anand, Kramnik, Leko and Radjabov, he won the ten-round event by a full point!

Appropriately, then, we'll have a look at his win over Anand from this event. The opening was a Classical Caro-Kann, but this didn't produce a dull game, but only one where the hand-to-hand fighting took a little while to develop. But it wasn't that long, and soon interesting things were happening all over the board. Anand is not just a great, great player, he's probably the best defender in the chess world. Yet in our game, Bologan somehow managed to keep him under complete control, winning in impressive fashion.

The fun is in the details, of course, and this is a game that repays careful study. I hope, therefore, that you'll join me tonight – Wednesday night – at 9 p.m. ET (that's Friday morning at 3 a.m. CET) as we investigate this fine game from the recent past. Hope to see you there!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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